While reviewing almost 100 non-profit websites, I found a shocking pattern. It was really hard to donate to their cause.

A lot of websites didn’t follow the well-established call to action patterns. Unfortunately, for a lot of websites, I spent too much time looking for a way to donate. These sites failed to provide a clear Donate” call to action.

Your website is a tool. If you don’t have goals for it and are not tracking it how do you know if the tool is working.

So how is your website’s conversion rate?

A conversion is a person completing the desired action on your website. The conversion rate is how well a person is completing these goals.

Setting goals for your site and tracking these through conversions are a great way for tracking design improvements.

Going back to donating, your goal might be to increase donations. Once you are tracking conversions, based on my experience I would try to improve the call to action.

What makes a good call to action?

Size, colour and shape

The donation call to action should be straightforward and visually, it needs to stand out on the page. Ways to stand out is to make your call to action a large button, use contrasting colours and varying shapes.


It’s best to use clear, concise words, especially when asking for monetary donations. According to Nngroup study, using the phrases Donate” and Donate Now “ were immediately understood by users in our study. I had the same experience. These phrases made it more clear than Support”, Contribute”, Join”, or Get Involved”. It is not clear enough the action I’m was taking.


If the call to actions are located in the areas where users can’t find them, other visual aspects such as colour and size might not work efficiently. The best websites had their main donation call to action in the header bar on the right-hand side. The placement will depend on what your goals are and the type of website but this was the most common placement in my research.